UTSA COS Summer Research Experience
Mentors and Research
Characterization of Calcium Binding Proteins in the Cell
Dr. Chambers' lab is interested in the characterization of calcium binding proteins in the cell and in particular the kinetic analysis of the [Ca2+ + MG 2+] - dependent adenosine-triphosphatase. Regulation of intracellular free calcium and its maintenance at extremely low concentrations (submicromolar) is one of the main tasks of cells. Transient calcium fluxes induce the activation of calcium-dependent second messenger systems. Thus, extrusion of excess calcium is critical to the well-being of the cell. Bulk amounts of calcium are removed from the cell cytosol by a Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. In contrast, removal of threshold amounts of free calcium is dependent upon a low capacity, high affinity plasma membrane calcium pump that couples Ca2+ translocation with ATP hydrolysis.